Speech therapists typically use several different articulation activities to help patients, especially children, with articulation delay. These activities can include treasure hunts, board games, or reading special books. There are also several articulation activities particularly geared towards adults, including playing Jeopardy games and engaging in skits with the therapist.
One of the most commonly used articulation activities is the treasure hunt. The speech therapist will find a selection of items that start with the sound the child is have a problem with and hide them. The child and therapist will then go on a treasure hunt for the items; the child practices saying the word while they look for each item and then puts the word in a sentence once the item is found.
Another one of the most useful articulation activities used by speech therapists is to sit and play a board game with the child; in so doing, the patient says the word or sound in question before starting every turn. This can be a great way to distract the child from what he or she is actually working on, leading to a more relaxed and productive therapy session. It can also keep more active children from becoming bored; the game provides additional stimulation outside of simply repeating sounds and words.
Reading books specifically made for children with an articulation delay is also an option. These books typically focus on one common sound, such as “s” words, and include pictures and words all starting with that sound. Reading books like this, or any books, with a speech therapist or parent can help children with articulation delays practice certain sounds and work on reading skills at the same time.
Adults who suffer from articulation issues can also be greatly benefited by participating in articulation activities. The most common of these is playing a game of Jeopardy in a group or with a speech therapist; this can allow practicing “wh” words, one of the most common issues among adults, as well as encouraging proper enunciation. Many speech therapists who work with adults also find that having the patient write out skits that include the sounds they have difficulty with and then acting out those skits can be extremely helpful.
While there are many articulation activities that are used by speech therapists for both children and adults, simply sitting and talking with the patient can be one of the most effective ones. This allows the patient to practice words in a conversational setting, thereby providing more of a real-life experience. Speech therapists and doctors are constantly coming up with new and creative articulation activities to help their patients, providing an opportunity to tailor treatment to individuals and giving them the best possible chance for success.